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Morthoron 09-05-2018 06:59 PM

New Middle-earth MMO Game In The Design Stage.....


Saul Zaentz Co.’s Middle-earth Enterprises (who was previously embroiled in a big lawsuit alongside Warner Bros. with the Tolkien estate about using its ownership of certain Middle-earth-ian elements in digital games) has struck a deal with the Hong Kong-based Leyou Technologies—or more specifically, a new studio subsidy of Leyou called Athlon Games—to create a free to play, massively multiplayer online experience “set in the world of Middle-earth long before the events of The Lord of the Rings take place.”
I wonder what rights Deceased Saul Zaentz Co.’s Middle-earth Enterprises has for a game "set before the events of either The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings". Since they have only the rights to the two books (TH and LOTR), I am guessing it has to be a rifling of the Appendices at the end of ROTK. C. Tolkien owns all rights to The Sil, HoME and everything else published afterwards (The Children of Húrin , etc.). So, earlier Third Age, evidently, as the 2nd Age might conflict with Tolkien Family Trust rights (and we know how litigious they can be).

Huinesoron 09-06-2018 04:59 AM

... so it's going to be the fall of Arnor, right? That's already made its way into computer games (Battle for Middle-earth II: Rise of the Witch-king was all about it), so we know the rights are out there, and it's probably the best fleshed-out time period between the downfall of Numenor and the Quest of Erebor.

There's a chance it could be during the time of the Stewards; I'd guess the Balchoth war, to let them use Eorl and Cirion. Actually, 2450-2550 isn't a bad timeframe to run quests in: you've got Sauron's return, the formation of the White Council, Deagol's discovery of the Ring (which means you've got hobbits east of the Mountains), Boromir the Steward who dies of a Morgul-wound, Eorl, Cirion, the Balchoth war, the foundation of Rohan... there's a fair amount to play around with, though you run into conflict with Unfinished Tales.

But it's going to be the fall of Arnor.

It could actually be really interesting to go even further back. How about doing some timeline-shuffling in the 1400s and have the Kin-strife in Gondor and the foundation of Angmar play out on the same stage? Gondor's influence stretches from Rhovanion clear down to Umbar, and you can watch the occupation of Rhudaur in real-time. That leaves the door open to jumping forward 500 years to see the ultimate end of the problems that started in the 1400s - ie, the fall of Arnor and the loss of the Kings of Gondor.

Or even earlier - why not use the founding of Gondor and Arnor? I know it's part of the Second Age, but can you imagine playing the part of an exile from a high technology (relatively) society, having to rebuild as best you can in the wilderness of Middle-earth? Then you get to feed directly (give or take a hundred years) into the War of the Last Alliance.

But... it's going to be the fall of Arnor, isn't it?


Kuruharan 07-12-2019 09:51 PM


Originally Posted by Huinesoron (Post 712476)
But... it's going to be the fall of Arnor, isn't it?


I don't know that it matters, the game is almost certain to be horrible.

It is my understanding that while there are individuals on the design team who have MMO development experience, most of the team, and indeed the team as a whole, has no experience in this area.

Watch me be wrong and the game will turn out to be fantastic...but I think the odds do not point in that direction.

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